7 May 2019 – UNICEF Australia welcomes the Australian Labor Party’s announcement today to fund an independent, national youth peak body, at AUD$5.4 million dollars over a five-year period, as part of a series of initiatives to support young Australians.
“This is an important investment in young Australians and one that will better connect them to decision makers and policy making,” said Amy Lamoin, Director of Policy and Advocacy at UNICEF Australia.
UNICEF Australia has been concerned that Australia is not making sufficient progress in policies and programs to support children, particularly disadvantaged children in our country.
“This commitment demonstrates a political will to listen to young people in Australia and to make them part of the decisions and solutions going forward. A Minister for Children in Cabinet would also go further in making this a reality and driving whole of government initiatives for young people,” said Ms Lamoin.
UNICEF Australia’s ongoing research shows that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, children with disability, LGBTIQ children, asylum seeker and refugee children, children living in regional and remote areas and children in out of home care, are being left behind.
“This is a significant first step towards giving the most vulnerable young people in Australia a fair chance – ensuring that gaps such as quality education, poverty, social isolation, poor mental health, high youth unemployment – can be addressed at a national scale,” said Ms Lamoin.
UNICEF Australia says well documented gaps for children and young people’s protection also need urgent and sustained attention. Australia should be one of the best places for children and young people to grow up and we need a way to measure progress for them.
UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone.